A 4.1% third quarter same store sales decline and $105 million loss hasn’t diminished holiday spirits at Toys "R" Us.
The company reported the sales decline for the period ended October 27 late Friday and attributed a portion of the dip in same store sales to a less promotional stance and an earlier start to its layaway program. The layaway program was launched on September, seven weeks before the end of the third quarter, but sales related to items placed in layaway can not be recognized until customers pick up their orders.
Total sales declined 3.4% to $2.6 billion and the company reported a net loss of $105 million versus $93 million the prior year.
"Our primary focus during the third quarter was making strategic preparations for the important holiday season," said Jerry Storch, Toys "R" Us chairman and CEO. "We believe the new programs we’ve introduced such as Free Layaway, Price Match Guarantee, Hot Toy Reservation and our strengthened omnichannel offerings, including Ship from Store, have benefitted our customers and provided even more reasons to shop with us."
Storch said the company was confident that its inventory levels of must-have toys would provide a strong in-stock position in the weeks leading up to Christmas and position the company as the toy destination for families.
Toys "R" Us ended the quarter with 875 Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and nearly 800 stores and licensed stores in 35 international markets. The company also owns the FAO Schwarz brand and operates flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.